Billie Eilish has sent a message about toxic coming out culture
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 06, 2023 - 07:46AM
‘I like boys and girls,’ said Billie Eilish (Picture: Reuters)

has accused Variety of ‘outing her’ – and in my view, she handled it perfectly.

Taking to Instagram after an interview at the Variety Hitmakers bash, the Bad Guy hitmaker criticised the publication, having been caught off guard by questions about her sexuality.

‘Thanks Variety for my award and for also outing me on a red carpet at 11am instead of talking about anything else that matters,’ she seethed in front of her 110million followers.

Billie also added: ‘I like boys and girls’, before begging people to ‘leave [her] alone’.

It was a neat way of summing up her feelings and putting Variety in their place.

The -winning star has about the toxicity of coming out culture – and it’s time to pay attention.

While it’s undeniable that the LGBTQ+ community has made progress in recent years, it’s disheartening to see people still being interrogated on their sexuality, before they feel ready to talk candidly about their identity. 

Billie Eilish has clearly had enough, and she’s not the only one.

When speaking to Variety on the red carpet, Billie revealed upon questioning that recent comments she made previously in an interview with the publication about finding women ‘attractive’ were, in fact, her way of expressing her sexuality.

Despite feeling ‘intimidated’ by and ‘scared’ of girls, the 21-year-old shared that she does identify as LGBTQ+, but never intended for her sexuality to come as part of a huge announcement.

‘I kinda thought, wasn’t it obvious?’, she laughed.

Billie confessed her shock that people weren’t aware, which was echoed in her later Instagram caption.

That laid-back attitude towards sexuality explains why she was blindsided by the red carpet interview, not expecting to be quizzed on something that Variety clearly considered a big deal when, to her, it wasn’t that groundbreaking. 

‘I kinda thought, wasn’t it obvious?’ (Picture: Phillip Faraone/Variety via Getty Images)

While the interaction seemed lighthearted, with interviewer Tiana DeNicola assuring her: ‘I’m a gay, you’re safe,’ it was obvious to me watching back that Billie was feeling awkward.

She may be one of the biggest stars in music, but still has a right to , and it was upsetting to see her left with no choice but to embrace it in public.

For me, in moments like that interview and her follow-up post, Billie summarised just how ridiculous it is that anyone owes an explanation for who they are.

Sure, we might reach a point where she’s ready to give a sit-down Oprah Winfrey-style tell-all interview, but until then, sexuality is personal and it needn’t be addressed without expressed consent.

That’s. For a lot of people, it’s the most monumental hurdle they will ever face and it holds a lot of weight.

I was in high school by ‘friends’ who mocked me for being a lesbian before I had a chance to figure that out myself.

I struggled for years to accept my queerness and berated myself for not feeling able to ‘come out’ in the style of the 2014 YouTubers I watched with their ‘speaking my truth’ style announcement videos. 

Witnessing the outpouring of love for Billie’s ‘coming out’ fills me with hope (Picture: Rachel Luna/FilmMagic)

From personal experience, I know how agonising it can be to prepare months in advance, writing letters to relatives and planning social media posts as you lie awake until 7am, desperately praying that people will still love you the same.

The response to my coming out has been largely positive, for which I am very lucky. Friends never treat me differently and have created safe spaces for me to be who I am. 

Family is somewhat of a different story, but witnessing the outpouring of love for Billie’s ‘coming out’ fills me with hope that the world is becoming more accepting.

That acceptance, however, seems to come with laughable expectations placed on queer people to shout about our sexuality from the rooftops.

Gone are ‘I’m gay!’ magazine cover in 1997.

In 2023, as Billie proves, people should just be allowed to exist without needing to stand at a podium and declare something we never expect of straight people. We shouldn’t have any sense of shame that we aren’t out enough.

What I love about Billie’s approach to her sexuality, and what I find so inspiring, is how she flips that shame on its head.

She refuses to feel embarrassed or apologetic for not saying it.

It’s time to leave behind the pressure, the stereotypes, and the expectations we place on stars (Picture: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock)

Instead, she directs that frustration towards the people who put her in a box and ignored the signs, and at outlets like Variety who cared more about having the ‘moment’, rather than allowing Billie the autonomy to control that narrative and choose how and when it is shared.

Preparing to come out – or rather, preparing for the potentially disastrous ramifications of it – steals endless joy from queer people. 

What Billie has decided instead is to live her life without explanation or justification, channelling that joy into her everyday and recognising that her time is too precious to waste.

Ultimately, we are edging towards a world where freedom in sexuality and gender expression are not only accepted but encouraged.

Therefore, it’s time to leave behind the pressure, the stereotypes, and the expectations we place on stars who haven’t decided to fully make their sexuality our business. 

‘Why don’t they just come out?’ is a question I’ve heard and read a million times over.

People should just be allowed to exist without needing to stand at a podium and declare something we never expect of straight people

Frankly, why should anyone have to?

Whether we come out voluntarily or we are outed against our will, it seems those around us always want answers to satisfy their curiosity, because their archaic mindsets prevent them from accepting that sexuality isn’t the be-all and end-all.

No one, whether a loved one we speak to daily or a global megastar who is only reachable on Instagram, owes us an explanation of their identity, and it’s tiring having to say that.

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